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"dread, and praise without envy."..." In such like portraits, we see Virtue, 'not an imaginary, but a real Being: and the pleasure she bestows tempts us to some familiarity with her. For this reason I chose to fill up this "day's paper with the character of Cyrus as it is drawn by Xenophon, his "contemporary and fellow-soldier. There is a delicacy in the writings of "that author, peculiar to himself, which can be scarce faintly represented "in translation. His language is familiar as the most ordinary discourse, "and elegant as a studied oration. He wrote with the same ease with which "he lived: and his works which were the amusement of his retreat from "action, resemble an elegant feast prepared by the Graces for the Muses. "He abounds with unaffected simplicity, and the Grandeur of his Senti"ments, like the real Greatness of his mind is softened by a modest diffi"dence. He is the Soldier, the Statesman, and the Philosopher, and glim"merings of all these break forth in his single character of Cyrus." He then, taking up the story after the death of Cyrus, translates at length Xenophon's enumeration of his Hero's virtues. This article also is signed "B." Burke, it will be remembered, had urged Shackleton in a letter of 19th Aug., 1746, to study Xenophon; and on 29th Nov., 1746, he wrote to Shackleton, "The Cyrus I sent you is my own. It is the very best edition," "You tell me you meet some difficulties in the Cyropedia. If I can I will clear them up myself. If not I will get some one else to do it. But you don't tell me how you approve of the author1." He writes also to his brother Dick on the same day, "I should be glad you would read Xenophon. I don't know any book fitter for boys who are beginning to comprehend what they read"."
On 26th Aug., 1749, an article on Fame appears in the Censor, No. XIII, taking its text from Milton's
Fame is the spur that the clear
Spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble minds)
To scorn delights and live laborious days.3
"There is scarce a more active Principle in the human Soul (it proceeds), "than the love of Fame. When this Passion grows powerful in generous, "well informed minds, it prompts them to innumerable great & good "'actions. But, it must be remembered always, that it is only an inferior "and subordinate Spring, which should ever be put in Motion, and guided "by the Love of Virtue. It is intended as an allurement, not proposed as "a cause, and should be considered as an agreeable companion, who beguiles the time, and shortens the journey to some real friend. It was this Passion, directed by the sacred love of their country, which led the great "worthies of old into the fields of action, and science, and conducted them "to the pinnacle of glory, where men now behold them with admiration; "but, want the Virtue to imitate them. It was this passion, early sown and "properly cultivated, which made Themistocles cry out, that the Trophies "of Miltiades broke his Sleep, and this principle, acting second to the 2 Ante p. 106.
1 See ante pp. 100 and 105.
3 Fame had been the subject of discussion in the Club, 26th May, 1747.
"Love of virtue, gave birth to more heroic actions, and I may say, great "good men, in that single City of Athens, in the space of one century, than "perhaps the whole world besides, can produce.
"There is something in Praise, not unpleasing to the greatest minds "and though they do not propose it, as the End of their Actions, and "therefore, suffer no disappointment by the want of it; though they are "content with the silent approbation of their consciences; yet it adds to "their pleasure, as a new & impartial evidence, that they have acted right. "Such a love of Fame is never blameable, and it is a mark of a sordid mind, "to deny this little gratification to the deserving. Indeed the excesses of "every Desire are justly censured, because they are frequently, if not always "fatal."
"Fame at the best is a thing in which we can claim no property: it is "absolutely in the power of others, who may not only refuse it, but mis"interpret the most virtuous actions, and derive them from principles "which will weaken, & even destroy their value....Envy and malice are "ever ready to deafen the voice of Praise, and lie in wait to beat down 'growing merit: they imagine that the lustre of a good man buries them 'deeper in the shade and think every feather plucked from his cap, an "additional plume to their own; his equal dreads him as a growing superior, "and his superior scowls on him, as a rising equal."...
"He who performs the greatest actions from a sordid view to self'gratification carries a Gall about him which embitters the Sweet he so "much covets."...
"If then the real possession of Fame be so insignificant, of what estima'tion will it appear, when we reflect, that it is never in our own power: "and that it is a largess, which every man may, and most men will withold: "it is but the breath of men, and that breath is usually a tribute paid to the "memory of the Dead.
"Since Fame then is so uncertain and unsatisfactory: since the love "of it is so strongly in the greatest minds, and so fixed, as never to be "extinguished; the final cause of it seems to be, to lead us on to seek the "approbation of that Being who is superior to Malice and Envy, and whose "applause alone is Happiness1."...
"The last method of arriving at Fame, is to neglect it. When a man "seems sollicitous for it, and on all occasions throws out baits for a little "incense, the world is inclined to suspect the motives of his actions, and "feels no little gratification in mortifying his pride. If the Hero retires to "the covert and the shade, our admiration rises above envy; we draw him "into public view. We dare acknowledge his merit: and feel a generous "pleasure in discharging a debt which he is willing to remit. Can the eye "of fancy behold a finer image, than a great good man, who has singly "stood against a torrent of corruption; from whose face guilt has fled in "confusion; retiring with blushing modesty to enjoy in some calm retreat, "the silent conscience of his heart, and to share with his little family and "friends, the blessings he has heaped on millions!
1 See The Sublime and Beautiful, Sect. xvii, Ambition.
"But this contempt of Praise falls to the lot of few; for nothing can "exalt a man above the censure and applause of Mankind, but superior "wisdom and a consciousness of acting one consistent steady part. To "such a man, Panegyric loses its Sweet, and Satyr its Sting; The fragrant "and the poisoned breeze may blow on him; but, they will affect him, as summer flies affect the prudent traveller; they will be a spur to hasten "him to the destined goal. It is recorded of Phocion, that such was his "contempt of popular applause, that when his opinion was universally "approved, he said, turning to his friend, 'I wish that what I have proposed "be not wrong.' This saying has too great a tincture of pride: It would "not, however, be unworthy of the best and wisest man, upon a like 'occasion, to say, with modest diffidence and anxious concern for the "public welfare, 'I wish that what I have proposed may be right.""
"I return to that observation, with which I set out; that as true glory "is the child of virtue, so true virtue disdains the little arts of acquiring "praise. This opinion is confirmed by a saying of Socrates, recorded by Xenophon, with which I will conclude this Paper αι γὰρ ἔλεγεν, ὡς οὐκ “ εἴη καλλίων ὁδὸς ἐπ ̓ εὐδοξίᾳ, ἢ δι ̓ ἧς αἔι τις ἀγαθός τι γενοῖτο, καὶ μὴ δοκεῖν · βουλοῖτο.”
There is nothing of the style of Lucas in this article, but very much of the early style and studies of Edmund Burke.
On the 28th April, 1750, the article on Fame is continued in No. XXII of the Censor.
"A Love of Fame directed by the Love of Virtue, gives birth to that "heroic greatness, that magnanimity, which is superior to toils, to dangers, "to disappointments, to death. The same passion, misguided and corrupted "by inordinate self-love, is the parent of that motley figure Vanity, which "leads to indiscretion, to contempt, to folly & vice....
"It may seem wonderful that those who conquered almost every other "infirmity have yielded to the seduction of vanity. Cicero that penetrating statesman, and second Father of Philosophy, was often misled by a tide "of vanity into a redundance of self-panegyrick, and Spring, Summer, and "Autumn, were with him the Nones of December1. Pompey, in the pride of "his heart, confidently boasted, 'That if he stamped, armies would spring "from the earth.""...
"Every day presents to our view, persons greatly ignoble, who for the "poor renown of being opulent, will resign the character of honesty, and "defraud the needy to oppress the earth with costly buildings, and to per"petuate their vanity in the monuments of their folly, and the tombs of "their estates....
"That man discovers a just contempt of wealth, and stamps its true "value, who, in the tide of abundance, knows no other use, feels no other "joy, than what results from relieving the distressed, and sharing his "happiness with the deserving; here actions are unerring evidences of the truth of his sentiments, and blunt the edge of satyr. It is the praise of Epaminondas that he refused to be enriched even by the beneficence of
1 The time in which he routed Cataline, and his desperate faction.
"his friend; it is the wealth of his friend Pelopidas, that, to be like him, he "descended from splendour and magnificence, to simplicity and humble competence, that he courted poverty. Here virtue tramples on station, "and riches borrow lustre from poverty; here they look little, because the "contempt of them is great1.
The various phases of vanity are then discussed, and the essay finishes: "Thus vanity or inordinate love of fame defeats the very ends at which "it aims. I shall therefore conclude with a few rules, which, though in"effectual to restrain it absolutely, will not however contribute to increase it. First, we should seek the approbation of our own consciences,
'Secondly, we should consider what actions are truly praiseworthy, "and from whom praise is valuable.
"Lastly, we should weigh our own abilities, and not pretend to more 'praise than is due to us, or for qualities, which in themselves are detest"able."
These two articles bear all the impress of Burke.
On the 5th May, 1750, appeared in No. XXIII of the Censor an article on Justice. It, too, is signed "B" like the articles in Nos. VIII and X, and there can be very little doubt was written by Burke just before he left Trinity College for London. It deals not only with Justice in the abstract but with the administration of Justice by Judges. "A wise judge in the exercise of "Office will act with gentleness & humanity. Severity in every magistrate "begets disregard; but bitterness and hard terms from a judge produce "hatred and contempt, as they betray a secret meanness and a coward's "barbarity; they convert justice into cruelty to the unfortunate, and make "law a fearful evil, not a desirable good."...
"The great and good judge will carry clemency always in his right hand, "and consider himself in his little tribunal as the representative of that "Majesty and Infinite Goodness, whose justice unallayed by mercy, would "be too terrible for human nature. If some mistaken men, from a warmth "of imagination, or blind zeal, should inflame the minds of the multitude, "and thereby raise disgust to certain governors, and spread abroad bitter "invectives and galling sarcasm, he will endeavour as councillor to his "Prince and the people, to suppress discontents and prevent their evil "tendency; and to obtain this good end he will employ the wisest and the "best means: If an overboiling spirit is about to subside, and sink within 'proper bounds, he will suffer the redundancy to evaporate and waste "itself: for violent and severe opposition tends rather to agitate than appease "such a spirit. If liberty should sometimes swell into licentiousness, and "he himself should feel the strokes of envy and malevolence, in that case, "to avoid the imputation of revenge, he will be still more unwilling to "crush the offenders: His own integrity will blunt the arrows of party "and faction, and at last oblige the enemies of true liberty to retire with "shame and confusion. If he is forced with reluctance to revive a penal "law, yet he will demonstrate by his execution of it, that it was instituted "for a terror only; in cases not directly capital he will consider the minutest
"circumstances, the private character, the attachments, the motives, and "the ties of the offender, He will allow some weight even to the passions "and prejudices of the criminal, but none of his own; and the Salus Populi will be his great rule, as it should be the law of Kings.
"Many have been thought equal to this important task of a judge, who "have sunk under the trial, so true is that saying, Magistratus virum indicat: "If there be one judge on the Bench to whom the following observations "of Tacitus can be justly applied, Omnium consensu capax Judicandi nisi "Judicasset, I grieve for the lot of those unhappy victims who are exposed "to his sentence."
There can be no doubt this passage refers to Lucas-his was the "overboiling spirit"-and to Chief Justice Marlay-he was the Judge consensu omnium capax Judicandi nisi Judicasset,—and there can be no doubt either, that the hand that penned the final initial "B" was the hand of Edmund Burke.